30 Days of Truth: Sparkle like jewels in a crown.

Truth #9:  Sparkle like jewels in a crown.

The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. Zechariah 9:16 NIV

I didn’t know anything about princesses.  On our first family trip to Disney, I felt guilty because I didn’t know all of the princesses names or even their story.  I couldn’t relate to a princess and I certainly never felt like a princess.

And then one day when I was reading Zechariah 9 in the Message, my hopes met His promises in a big way.  My King was coming for me. I took that entire passage and personalized it.

My King will:

Make all things right, offer peace, release me from my hopeless cell, fill me with hope and return everything I lost – twice over. He will protect me and save the day! He will rescue me. I’ll become like gemstones in a crown – catching all the colors of the sun.  I’ll shine, shimmer, and glow.

When I started to see Jesus not just as a King, but as MY King, it helped me to see myself as His princess, even when I didn’t feel like it! It was in this beautiful dance where I discovered with each step as I move with Him, I have to cling to the truth that He is King and Lord of my life and that I am His daughter, His princess. PINK became a visual reminder to me of who I am in Christ. I wore pink often to help me remember that I am not green. I may feel green from shame, but I am pink.

The dance was messy at times and we were not always in sync, but I kept showing up and taking His hand.  I had to learn to let Him lead, and I am still learning what it means to fully surrender. With all the truths I have discovered and continue to find on this Journey – one stands out for me personally …  PINK.  This PRINCESS is IN NEED of her KING!

No matter what has happened, and no matter how I feel, I was made to shine and to sparkle like jewels in a crown.

And the Lord their God shall save them on that day
As the flock of His people;
For they are like the [precious] jewels of a crown,
Displayed and glittering in His land. Zechariah 9:16 AMP 

April is #SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) and for thirty days I will share the lies I believed and the truth that I discovered in my healing from childhood sexual abuse. To start at the beginning and read the first post click here —> 30 Days of Truth – I am a Masterpiece

30 Days of Truth: Mourn what happened.

Truth #8:  Mourn what happened.

Tamar heaped ashes on her head and tore her long, beautiful robe in mourning for what had happened to her. Then she walked back toward her home wailing, one hand to her head, showing everyone that tragedy and shame had fallen on her.

Tamar’s brother Absalom found her.

Absalom: Has your brother Amnon raped you? For now, my sister, say nothing. He is your brother. Don’t let it affect you so much.

Absalom had begun to make plans for revenge. So Tamar remained a broken woman living in her brother Absalom’s house. 2 Samuel 13:19-20 (VOICE)

The Lie:  I should just be quiet and try not to let it affect me so much.  Silence is golden.

The story of Tamar is heartbreaking.  She was raped by her half-brother and was devastated. She was not the same, and she was expressing her pain both physically and emotionally.

Her brother Absalom sees her in pain, and tells her to be quiet and to not let this affect her.

And Tamar?  She remained a broken and desolate woman.

That’s it. That’s how it ends for Tamar. A broken and desolate woman.

Violated. Used. Abused. Broken.

Silence is not golden.  Absalom teaches us what NOT to say to someone who has been violated or abused.

I know what it is like to be a desolate woman filled with shame.  I was quiet and hid painful secrets. I learned how to build walls around my broken heart. I felt forsaken and ruined. I felt isolated and alone in a room full of people for most of my life.

I sat in church pews singing praises with a shattered heart, longing to hear someone say, “I believe you. It was not your fault. You are not alone. What happened to you was wrong!”

Jesus died so that we may live and have freedom!  He did not die for us to live broken in isolation.

Have you been harmed? Abused? Violated? Have you suffered in silence? Have you built walls around your heart to numb the ache?

It is time to mourn what happened.

Jesus mends brokenness.  He didn’t create you to be desolate. He calls you delightful, beloved, and beautiful.  He wants you to have a voice, and a healthy and whole heart.

He wants to set you free.

Then Tamar put ashes on her head. She tore the dress she was wearing which covered her arms. And she put her hand on her head and went away with a loud cry. Absalom her brother said to her, “Has your brother Amnon been with you? Be quiet now, my sister. He is your brother. Do not take this to heart.” So Tamar stayed in her brother Absalom’s house, sad and alone. 2 Samuel 13:19-20 (NLV)  

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  John 8:32 NIV

April is #SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) and for thirty days I will share the lies I believed and the truth that I discovered in my healing from childhood sexual abuse. To start at the beginning and read the first post click here —> 30 Days of Truth – I am a Masterpiece

    

30 Days of Truth: If anyone causes one of these little ones to stumble…

Truth #7: If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble…

If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6 NIV

The Lie:  Does Jesus even care about abuse?  Maybe He is okay with it?

A few years ago, when I was picking my daughter up from summer camp the pastor shared a short message for the parents. He started by giving us the illustration of an orange seed, and how it is so important to make sure that orange seeds are planted in a thriving environment in order to have the best oranges possible.

He said, “You can have the best orange seed ever, but it needs warmth, good soil, and sunshine. If you take away the good environment and place that best orange seed elsewhere it will not be the orange it was intended to be.”

He went on to say it is the same for children. They are precious gifts, and we have to make sure they are in the environment that allows them to be all that God has designed them to be.

He came to the edge of the stage and looked at the audience again and reiterated that the Bible is very clear about how precious children are to Jesus. We should be taking good care of them and without going into details we should be warned about what the Bible says about harming children and causing them to sin.  He read Matthew 18:6 to us:

If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6 NIV

As he closed in prayer, my heart was pounding. I felt the presence of Jesus embracing the little girl in me who needed to hear those words long ago.

I realize it is not easy to talk about sexual abuse. It’s complicated. It’s taboo. It’s horrific.

But, it is necessary and important.

It’s time.

But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do. Matthew 18:6-7 (MSG)

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  John 8:32 NIV

April is #SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) and for thirty days I will share the lies I believed and the truth that I discovered in my healing from childhood sexual abuse. To start at the beginning and read the first post click here —> 30 Days of Truth – I am a Masterpiece

30 Days of Truth: He lifted me out of the pit.

Truth #6 He lifted me out of the pit.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalm 40:2 NLT

The lie: This pit is as good as it gets so get comfortable.

In my third counseling session, I decided I was going to tell her my story. I took a deep breath and then I just started talking. I was afraid to stop so the words just poured out of my mouth like thick syrup. Some of it was in ‘code’ and I am sure it was hard to follow at times.

On my way out with wide eyes I said, “I did it! I feel so much lighter!”

She replied, “That is because you just stepped into the light.”

On September 11, 2012, He lifted me out of the pit of despair.  I’m not even sure I realized I was in a pit at the time. I had decorated it and made that pit of lies as cozy as possible. It was a lonely and terrifying place, but it was all I knew.

The mud and mire of shame and lies had shaped my life affecting my relationships, decisions, and thoughts. There was a lot of work ahead, and the journey was just beginning, but I had tasted light, hope and truth.

There was no turning back now.

He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me out To set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again. Psalm 40:2 VOICE

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  John 8:32 NIV

April is #SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) and for thirty days I will share the lies I believed and the truth that I discovered in my healing from childhood sexual abuse. To start at the beginning and read the first post click here —> 30 Days of Truth – I am a Masterpiece